There are more theories about weight loss flung around than anyone could ever manage to keep track of. Why does it have to be so hard? The answer is: it doesn't. By doing your research and making small life-long changes, the body you want is not that far away.
When we're under a lot of pressure for a long time, the stress hormone cortisol can build up in the body. This tells the body that there's a problem, and what's the body's best way to survive that famine, plague or long harsh winter it thinks is coming? You guessed it. Focus on getting a good night's sleep, and consider taking up yoga or meditation. Your belly will thank you – or what's left of it.
2. Change your plate size Studies show that if your plate is bigger, you'll fill it with more food. Downsize your crockery and you might just downsize your body. On that note, don't just fill a glass with water, buy yourself a 600ml bottle and go to town on the waters!
3. Eat Seriously! Restrictive diets (in which an entire food group is cut out or calories are drastically limited) will almost always come back to bite you, with studies showing that those who lowered their calorie intake too far simply ended up bingeing within a few days. Normal people eat three meals a day, so do it properly, and you'll enjoy it more.
4. Go for quality over quantity Remember that advertising and marketing relies on you to make snap decisions - usually the ones that are in their favour, not yours. Slow down and think about it - sure that packet of eight iced doughnuts might be only $3, but the single-serve tub of gourmet low-sugar yoghurt was only $1 extra. Think about what your body needs, and what you're really saving by paying that extra dollar.
5. Make changes, not losses Who says you can't have popcorn at the cinema? Just make your own, air-popped stuff at home and take it with you. Really want your Sunday pancakes? Mix two eggs with a banana, throw in some cinnamon, add oats if it's looking runny and voilà! Your new favourite pancake mix. I like to add walnuts and blueberries for a lazy Sunday brunch.